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Monday March 26, 2012

Jadeleen wants to savour her debut on the big stage

PETALING JAYA: Youngster Jadeleen Lee is looking forward to savouring the experience of playing in the CIMB Nicol David KL Open for the first time.

The 16-year-old Jadeleen is one of the brighter talents in the junior ranks, having been crowned champion in the Under-15 category of the National Junior championship last year.

She was also an Asian Junior runner-up and managed to reach the third round of the prestigious British Junior Open when she competed in the Under-17 category for the first time in January.

The Selangor lass will, however, face the biggest match in her budding career when she competes against full-fledged professionals in the qualifying round of the KL Open, which begins today.

Her task will not be easy at all as she has been drawn to face world No. 12 Joelle King of New Zealand, the qualifying top seed, in the first round.

But Jadeleen is not fazed by the prospect of taking on King.

“This is a really good opportunity for me and I’m looking forward to the experience of playing on such a big stage,” said Jadeleen.

“Joelle is a very good player and the opportunity to take on someone like her does not come everyday ... it gives me the chance to learn and improve from the top players.

“Personally, there’ll be no pressure on me at all and I just want to go out there and enjoy the game.”

Besides Jadeleen, national juniors Rachel Arnold, Vanessa Raj, Celine Yeap and Teh Min Jie will also be in action from the qualifying round.

The other Malaysians needing to earn their spot in the main draw are national No. 3 Delia Arnold, P. Pushppa Devi, Siti Munirah Jusoh and Zuhijjah Azan.

World No.1 and seven-time KL Open champion Nicol David faces a qualifier in the first round, with a possible meeting against Aussie Kasey Brown in the last eight.

National No. 2 Low Wee Wern will also start from the main draw as the local wildcard and faces a tough challenge in the form of fifth seed Raneem El Weleily in the opening round.

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